Alan Biggs at Large: Do Sheffield Wednesday have too many midfielders?
Only ten games in but the challenge for Sheffield Wednesday is to stop the settling of dust turning into the falling of debris.
It’s a question of balance and right now, from an assembly of reputable players, it simply isn’t there. Yet.
Understandable in some ways and certainly it’s far too early to consign this season to the rubbish dump.
But in my view, part of the problem is that Darren Moore has accumulated too many players of the same ilk.
A predominance of attacking midfielders needs thinning out to who the manager considers the best choices - with a system to suit.
How many players of this type do you need? And how many is too many, confusing the selection and preventing individuals from settling?
Here’s the list. All are adaptable to other roles - which could turn into a strength - but there are five of them. All classified as wide or attacking midfielders.
Olamide Shodipo, Jaden Brown, Theo Corbeanu, Marvin Johnson, Sylla Sow.
None has laid claim to a regular place. And, counting other senior midfielders of different types, there are a dozen at the club. Repeat, a dozen.
Right at the centre of it all, Barry Bannan; unquestionably the best player at the club but needing the pieces around him to settle rather than dropping into a perplexing puzzle.
I think there has been some truth in the perception of everything going through the skipper holding Wednesday back.
But not on what I saw last Saturday in the 2-1 home defeat to a clearly superior Oxford.
When all the inquests were done, you had to conclude that Bannan was blameless; indeed, he forced two notable saves (no-one else did) on top of trying to get the team on the front foot quicker with longer delivery.
Bannan is not the problem. If he was, it would be a nice problem to have.
There seems to be confusion between the earlier pattern of passing out from the back and the new one of playing more direct to two central strikers, albeit one deeper.
Moore is taking the challenge in his stride, refusing to overreact to victory or defeat, which in many ways is commendable.
And I repeat, I don’t think he should be judged on promotion being a one-hit mission.
But, with this squad, he does have to be pushing at least. And there are some major calls to make in terms of greater consistency of selection and performance.